Agio expands in time for premarket

Showroom expansion among Merchandise Mart's largest single outdoor tenant

Agio and Merchandise Mart officials say a renovation now underway of Agio International's16th floor showroom will give the manufacturer more than 20,000 total square feet of display area, making Agio among the Mart's largest tenants in the outdoor category.  And, just in time for premarket.

"Our space inside the Mart was bursting at the seams," said Doug Peppler, vice president of specialty retail for Agio.  "We had to expand in order to accommodate expanding existing collections and to make way for our new ones. Increased demand across all product categories is our driving growth. Over the past two years, Agio sales are up more than 35 percent and are now approaching $400 million annually."

Agio's expanding footprint inside the Merchandise Mart reflects the growth the company is experiencing in the marketplace - especially the deep seating collections and wicker, Peppler explained.

 "Consumer demand and retail sales for our Patio Embers outdoor gas fire pits have also far exceeded our expectations," he said.

For 2007, Agio will unveil 12 new collections by renowned designer Fred Doughty, as well as another expansion of the Reserve Program for specialty retailers.  "New projects like these and expanded existing lines at the specialty level continue to be major drivers for Agio," he said. 

All-weather wicker and alternative tabletops are two more engines driving the Agio outdoor juggernaut.

"By acquiring Sun Isle two years ago and incorporating those collections into our existing offerings, Agio ideally positioned itself for today's consumer demand for wicker products, especially the twisted wicker styles," Peppler said.

"We see the same growth curve for our all-weather wicker and deep seating as we did for alternative tabletops three years ago," Peppler recalled.  "In the next two years, we predict a substantial portion of our showroom will be dedicated to deep seating and all-weather wicker."

For the most recent Mart expansion, Agio acquired two adjacent spaces which will be renovated over the next two months adding an additional 3,200-square feet to its existing showroom completing the 20,000 sq. ft. display area.  The new sections will be repainted and will receive new lighting and carpeting to complement the existing suite.  All renovations will be completed by July 1.

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